Originally posted on October 25, 2006 and entitled:
The Day from Upside-Down Seven-Seven-Three-Four
I should have known it was going to be one of those days when Big Little Sister, a.k.a. the late sleeper, was out of bed before Deus Ex Machina left for work.
As usual, it's a "work" day for me, which is to say that I have a bunch of transcription due today by COB (close of business).
Deus Ex Machina leaves for work at 8:00, and I start my day.
I had to feed the chickens, hang a load of laundry out on the line, and build a fire so that I could make sure the furnace stayed off all day, which means I had to bring in a load of wood, plus I had the aforementioned "paying" work ... in addition to the constant "snack", the four cups of mint tea and the several cups of juice (every fifteen minutes, for a different child, and never all at once when I'm in the kitchen anyway, but just as I'm sitting back down to start typing again), the putting in of videos or helping with computer games, reading of books, helping with bathroom, cleaning up of messes ... the usual stuff, but stuff I normally make allowances for, because they are ... well, they're normal.
So, I hang the clothes on the line, get the fire going nice and strong and put the tea kettle on the stove top for tea and oatmeal, and feed the chickens.
We decide to call Grandma to thank her for the Halloween cards.
After I hang up with Grandma, my Big Little Sister asks to take the puppy for a walk. The Little Fire Faery wishes to tag along with the Alpha female dog.
Both dogs are fine on the way down the road, but as the girls are heading back toward home, Alpha female decides its a good time to assert her authority, and she rushes over to nip and growl at the puppy. She runs in front of the nine year old, who is holding the puppy, and in the fray, Big Little Sister gets knocked down and hurts her knee.
Little Fire Faery comes into the house, breathlessly explaining that Big Little Sister is sitting on the side of the road, as she has fallen.
I ask, "Does she need me?"
The answer is always yes.
So, I slip into my shoes and head out the door with directions for the younger two to stay inside with Alpha.
I hurry across the driveway, and as I get beyond the bushes that are blocking my view, I see Big Little Sister, not crying on the side of the road, but sitting down, taking off her "gear" (she insisted she needed her winter coat, snowpants and snow boots to walk the dog down the road). She is literally undressing while sitting on the side of the road.
I exclaim as I near her, "What are you doing?!?"
Then, I see that the puppy, a.k.a. doesn't-know-his-name-yet-escape-artist, is no longer attached to her. He's attached to the leash, but she has let it go in her attempts to get out of her clothing to look at her knee, which was padded by about two inches of insulated snowpants, and while I don't doubt it hurts (there are rocks where she fell), it's not visibly damaged.
And he's gone ... again! Last time he was gone for two days, and we had to pay $15 to the animal control officer to get him back.
A few minutes later I see him in the neighbor's yard, and I run over, step on the leash and bring him home.
That took thirty minutes. It's 10:00. I still haven't gotten any work done. But it's still early. I still have time ;).
The dogs are all accounted for, the chickens are still in the yard, the girls are all in the house and okay, and I sit down to start work. I get a good momentum going, and then the teakettle starts to steam. I get up to make tea and oatmeal. While I'm in the kitchen, I clean up the iron skillet left over from last night, scrub the bread pan and wash off the stone cookie sheet on which I made bagels, yesterday. The stove top is pretty dirty. I clean up that too.
Big Little Sister decides she wants to make popcorn on the woodstove. I say it's okay, although I do mention that it might not get hot enough to pop the corn. Undaunted, she gets what she needs and puts the pan on the woodstove.
It's 10:45. I sit back down to start working again.
Big Little Sister gets tired of waiting for the popcorn. She asks if she can put it on the stove, and I say sure. She asks which temperature, and I tell her high.
I continue typing.
She sets up the pan and goes into the livingroom.
Suddenly, there is an ear-splitting siren. I'm confused. I jump up and run into the kitchen. The pan is on fire. The kitchen is black with smoke. Both smoke alarms are blaring.
I move the pan off the heat - it has a lid, and the sides of the pan where the oil is bubbling under the lid is actually what's on fire. I turn off the burner. Using the pot holder, I pat the flames on the side of the pan out. The fire on the pan goes out, but cuffs on my favorite shirt catch on fire. I put that out.
In the meantime, Little Fire Faery is screaming, "The PAN IS ON FIRE! Put it out! The PAN IS ON FIRE!"
Big Little Sister is asking if she should get the fire extinguisher.
Precious is just jumping around making some kind of noise, but I can't hear her, as focused as I am with not catching anything else on fire.
I grab the scorched pan, which is still smoking under the lid, and take it out, but I don't close the door after me.
Too late, I hear, "Cody!!" - that's the puppy's given name. I have others for him.
He's off again. This time sans the leash. Instead of running hither and yon through the brook, however, he harrasses the Alpha who is in the fenced backyard by running around outside of the fence and laughing at her in her confinement. Then, as I get close and just before I can grab him, he runs hither and yon through the brook.
But he doesn't go far, and I see him in the same yard as before, next door. We try to box him in, and it is finally the Alpha, who attacks him, scares him and sends him running tail tucked to Big Little Sister, who escorts him home and puts him on his lead in the fenced backyard.
We open all of the doors and windows to air out the house. The smoke alarms finally quiet and I can close the doors and most of the windows.
And then, after all of that, it's now noon. I have four hours before I have to be at my client's office. I'm still not finished with their work and I haven't taken a much needed shower.
So, we did what any normal person would do when faced with the day from upside down seven-seven-three-four ... we made ice cream :).